Over three lakh people made a beeline for the Naval Base during the past three days to visit warships and naval aircraft thrown open to the public as part of the ongoing Navy Fest, which draws to a close on Sunday.
With nearly a lakh-and-a half visitors flocking to the Southern Naval Command to go aboard the ships berthed at the base’s south jetty and to enjoy themselves at the Navy Fair, vehicular traffic on the Vikrant-Venduruthy Bridge almost came to a halt for several hours on Saturday afternoon.
With the Navy Fest reaching a crescendo, more people are expected to make it to the Naval Base on Sunday. The Navy has kept open for the public its latest stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, patrol vessel INS Sharda, training ship INS Sujata and diving support vessel INS Nireekshak besides a mix of aircraft stationed at naval air station Garuda. An Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) of the Navy showcased some low-flying manoeuvres and helobatics on Saturday evening to entertain the crowd that braved the scorching sun to visit the ships and aircraft. A range of military hardware — from a naval anti-aircraft gun, a miniature ship-handling simulator, different types of torpedoes, depth chargers, mini models of naval ships and aircraft, small arms, surveillance and detection equipment, and missiles, rockets and specialised diving gears — is on display.